Children's Minnesota, The Kid Experts | 2023 Annual Report | We are Children's Minnesota
2023 Annual Report, Children's Minnesota | The Kid Experts, We are Children's Minnesota.

A message from our CEO, Marc H. Gorelick, MD, MSCE

Children’s Minnesota is a special place. We are the only health system in Minnesota dedicated exclusively to the comprehensive health needs of kids. We are recognized locally and nationally for providing the highest-quality care. We are one of the largest independent pediatric health systems in the country.

What also makes us special is the extraordinary devotion our staff bring with them every day. Whether directly caring for kids or not, each of the 130 teams within Children’s Minnesota is dedicated to one purpose: helping young people thrive. We are One Children’s Minnesota, unified in our mission to champion the health needs of children and families.

But we couldn’t do this work without the steadfast support of our community: patients, families, donors, volunteers and community partners who are also part of One Children’s Minnesota. Here are some of the many things we accomplished in 2023 – together.

After a rigorous review process, Children’s Minnesota was re-designated a Magnet hospital, the gold standard for excellence in nursing care. Fewer than 10% of all hospitals in the U.S. achieve Magnet status.

Children’s Minnesota became the first pediatric hospital in North America to open a three-room suite with a mobile MRI unit, thanks to a $5.5 million gift from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. This technology is resulting in better success rates for kids in our neuroscience program, as you’ll see in John’s story below.

To meet the increase in children facing mental health crises, we expanded our continuum of mental health care by opening a second intensive outpatient mental health program in Roseville, bringing services closer to home for kids on the east side of the Twin Cities metro area.

Children’s Minnesota staff brought their expertise to the Minnesota legislature, testifying in more than 20 hearings to encourage the passage of policies that help kids and families. Our advocacy efforts contributed to:

  • More investment in Minnesota’s pediatric mental health care system.
  • Protection for and increased access to gender-affirming health care.
  • Free school breakfast and lunch for all Minnesota students.
  • Passage of two gun safety laws.
  • Prohibiting discrimination based on hair texture and style.

United Health Foundation awarded Children’s Minnesota a three-year, $3 million grant to address health disparities related to asthma, vaccinations and mental health in kids. The grant allows us to expand care into the community, to the places where kids live, learn and play.

Our annual Star Gala fundraising event brought in a record $2.4 million to support our cancer and blood disorders program, funding cutting-edge research, lifesaving resources and wraparound care that otherwise wouldn’t be covered.

This year also had some tough moments. Children’s Minnesota faced many of the same financial challenges as other health systems, including workforce shortages and higher labor costs. Fortunately, we successfully mitigated these challenges and weathered them better than many of our peers. Our AA bond rating was recently re-affirmed, and we are well positioned to remain a strong and stable pediatric health care provider far into the future.

The true impact we have as One Children’s Minnesota lies in our patients’ stories. I hope you’ll read on to learn how the passion and dedication of Children’s Minnesota staff, bolstered by our broad community of supporters, is yielding happier, healthier lives for tens of thousands of kids.

Marc H. Gorelick, MD, MSCE
President and Chief Executive Officer
Children’s Minnesota

Marc Gorelick, MD, president and CEO

Numbers and news

Our kid experts were busy in 2023. At Children’s Minnesota, every day is another opportunity to put kids first. Over a year, that adds up to many hours serving kids and helping them thrive.

161,995

Total patients*

*doesn’t include primary care patients

23,686

Surgical procedures

85,200

Emergency department visits

One of the largest freestanding pediatric health systems in the United States, Children’s Minnesota has two hospitals, nine primary care clinics, seven rehabilitation sites and nine specialty care sites.

389,372

Outpatient clinic visits

72

Languages interpreted

20,665

Hours of volunteer service

24,284

Virtual visits

The following services would not be provided without the generosity of donors:

9,551

Families served by the amenities cart

6,262

Books gifted to families

33,611

Meal vouchers distributed

24,738

Child life encounters

7,076

PAWH pet therapy encounters

7,792

Music Therapy encounters

2023 year in review

We care for kids from across the upper Midwest, drawing patients from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and beyond.

a map showing counties in ND, MN, SD, IA and WI
Children’s Minnesota patients by county
114,469-286,173
57,235-114,468
5,723-57,234
572-5,722
3-571
No patient encounters
a pie chart showing the representation of sources of revenue, as listed in the table
Sources of revenue In millions
Patient care reimbursement $1,057.6
Other operations $29.8
One-time COVID-19 grant support $13.8
Grants for education and research $4.0
Philanthropic support $12.0
Total revenue $1,117.2
a pie chart showing the 4 uses of revenue as outlined in the table
Uses of revenue In millions
Labor cost $688.9
Professional fees $290.2
State taxes and other expenses $106.2
Capital costs $59.7
Provision for new programs -$27.8
Total revenue $1,117.2 
a pie chart showing the representation of contributions to community benefit, as listed in the table
Contributions to community benefit* In millions
Unreimbursed costs of serving Medicaid patients $138.2
Subsidized health programs $15.8
Community health improvement services $11.7
Health professions education $3.9
Research $2.6
Charitable patient care $1.7
Community building $0.1
Total community benefit $174.0

 

*These figures are from 2022; 2023 figures will be reported in the 2024 annual report

Advancing pediatric care

State of the art technology key part of John’s care

Shortly before his birthday, doctors found a golf-ball size tumor on the right side of John’s brain.

“It was hard,” recalls John’s mom Stacy. “We didn’t know how to tell (him) since he was only 8 years old.”

Children’s Minnesota oncology and neurosurgery teams immediately developed a care plan. It included the use of a new pediatric hybrid intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) neurosurgery suite, the first of its kind in North America.

The technology allows seamless movement of a 16,200-pound MRI scanner into the operating room to take images mid-procedure, confirming if an entire tumor is removed and helping eliminate the need for future surgeries.

“It was…comforting… knowing this machine (gave) John’s neurosurgery team the advantage of removing the tumor more safely, to be a little less invasive,” said John’s dad Christopher. “It was exciting to hear that.”

Read more of John’s story.

Photo credit: en Photography

New breast pump loaner program helps Ezra thrive

Ezra was born two months early. While he received care in our Minneapolis hospital for several weeks, his mom Nancy used an over-the-counter breast pump at home so she could bring Ezra her milk.

“Our pump at home was not doing much,” Nancy explained. “That’s when a lactation consultant at Children’s Minnesota told me about the program.”

In 2023, Children’s Minnesota launched a new breast pump loaner program, providing hospital-grade pumps for free for up to four weeks.

For Nancy and Ezra, the new program – and higher-grade pump – made a big difference.

“Before I got the pump I was stressed out,” Nancy said. “It is such a great feeling knowing I could get him the milk.”

Learn more about Ezra.

Photo credit: Amanda Calvin

Diana and her care team make history

Days after her birth, Diana was diagnosed with a life-threatening case of bacterial meningitis, damaging the hearing in her right ear. Diana had already undergone brain surgery for hydrocephalus, and now she was facing another surgery. The ear procedure had to be done soon before her cochlea closed.

“You want…to give her the best chance to hear,” Diana’s dad Justin said, “(But) you don’t want to give her another surgery during the first two months of her life.”

After careful planning by Diana’s care team, Diana had the surgery when she was less than 3 months old, making her the youngest patient in Minnesota to receive a cochlear implant.

“You could see her eyes get super wide,” her mom Crystal recalled. “You could tell she could hear something in her right ear, it was just an innocent beautiful moment.”

“The consistency of the care is incredible,” Justin said. “We wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

Watch Diana’s story.

Unique surgery helps Carter smile again

Carter was born with hydrocephalus, and he was still a toddler when he underwent a first-of-its-kind procedure in Minnesota. Carter’s care team at Children’s Minnesota performed an eight-hour cranial vault repair procedure to reduce bone mass and reshape Carter’s skull.

A few weeks after surgery, Carter’s parents saw him smiling again. He can also prop himself up and play with his toys, something he couldn’t do by himself before the surgery.

Carter’s mom Lisa has this advice for other parents: “Children’s Minnesota’s doctors, they’ve seen a lot and know what they’re doing. They’ll get you where you need to go. Do not lose hope.”

Read more of Carter’s story.

Award-winning pediatric care

We are grateful for the local and national honors we received in 2023. Modern Healthcare recognized Children’s Minnesota as a Top Diversity Leader and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal named us a top employer for workforce diversity.

We were recognized as a Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report, sharing a ranking for cardiology and heart surgery with Mayo Clinic and for nephrology with M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital.

The Mother Baby Center locations in St. Paul and Coon Rapids, a partnership between Allina Health and Children’s Minnesota, were named Best Hospitals for Maternity Care by U.S. News & World Report.

The Children’s Minnesota health equity team was honored by the Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente for reducing disparities among patients with asthma.

More than 185 Children’s Minnesota physicians were named Top Doctors by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

Magnet Recognition
Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine Top Doctor award
Modern Healthcare Ogranizations | Top Diversity Leaders 2023
American College of Surgeons - Surgical Quality Partner logo
The Committee on Trauma - Verified Trauma Center
The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval
NCQA Accredited | Credentialing/Recredentialing
U.S. News & World Report: High Performing Hospitals, 2022-2023, Maternity
Healthcare Equality Index. LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader, 2022. Human rights campaign foundation.

Spotlight on amazing

Naz

Cancer and Blood Disorders

Naz Evans was born with sickle cell disease. He has spent many weeks and holidays in the hospital due to the severe pain and anemia the disease causes.

Naz has learned to manage his condition with the help of the kid experts in the nationally recognized Hemoglobinopathy and Sickle Cell program at Children’s Minnesota.

“Naz is an amazing young man. ... He works so hard to try to minimize the impact sickle cell has on his life,” says Dr. Stephanie Fritch Lilla, medical director of the sickle cell program.

As sickle cell treatments advance, Naz says it’s becoming easier to manage. His message to others living with sickle cell disease: keep going.

“At times you may feel depressed or helpless but fight through it,” Naz said. “That’s easier said than done – but you have to find the strength.”

Read more of Naz’s story.

Madison and Peyton

Neonatology, Cardiovascular

Twins Madison and Peyton entered the world three months early, spending their first few months in our Level IV neonatal intensive care unit. While there, the girls’ care team discovered they were also both born with the same heart condition – patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

Thankfully Madison and Peyton were in the best hands possible. The Children’s Minnesota teams had developed a standard guideline and protocol for a minimally invasive treatment designed to close PDA in premature infants.

Almost immediately after their procedures, the girls’ mother Mara noticed they were breathing better.

“We had trust in the doctors, nurses and staff,” Mara said. “Madison and Peyton might not be here without them.”

Watch Madison and Peyton’s story.

Jayden

Cardiovascular

For 12-year-old Jayden, Valentine’s Day has taken on extra meaning; it is now the day he got a new heartbeat.

Jayden was still in the womb when doctors discovered he had a congenital heart defect. After he was born, several procedures – including two open heart surgeries – helped Jayden stay healthy.

When he was 5, his cardiovascular care team at Children’s Minnesota determined he would need a pacemaker to keep his heart beating properly. It was implanted on Valentine’s Day and it’s helping Jayden maintain a very active life.

“It’s incredible to see him running up and down the basketball court or in the baseball field,” Jayden’s mom Rachel said. “These people saved his life.”

Read more of Jayden’s story.

Owen

Neonatology

Shortly after his birth, Owen stopped breathing. His care team worked for 16 minutes to restore his breathing with a breathing tube.

Owen recovered at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis. Once he was well enough, his care team used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to see if Owen had suffered any brain damage during those frightening 16 minutes.

His results came back normal.

Today, Owen is thriving. His mom, Stephanie, is grateful for the care Owen experienced throughout it all. “I want to shout out to all of the NICU nurses. They were tremendous.”

Watch Owen’s story.

Donor listing

As a charitable organization, Children’s Minnesota relies on financial donations to help us improve kids’ health and enhance the patient care experience. We are deeply grateful to all our donors. Their passion and commitment help us provide the very best for kids.

In the changing face of health care, our donor community always responds with generosity – and has done so for the past 100 years! Children’s Minnesota continues to be 100% child- and family-centered through the support of donors, and no child is ever turned away based on their ability to pay.

Jennifer L. Soderholm
SVP and Chief Development Officer
President, Children’s Minnesota Foundation

Jennifer Soderholm, has shoulder length blonde hair and is wearing glasses

The lists below recognize our donors from 2023 and highlight just a few of the thousands of generous contributors who show their support each year.

Are you a donor? Share your support:

Donor spotlights

Giving from the heart

For John and Ann Peterson, the decision to help others was not a hard one. “My late wife Ann and I felt that people like us who have been blessed with many things need to share what we can with people and organizations that do the most good,” said John. “Sick kids deserve all the help they can get. It’s not their fault they got sick.” A tour at the Minneapolis hospital several years ago made a lasting impression on Ann and John, who said it was one of the most rewarding experiences he can remember. “It’s hard to put into words. We learned about the progress in cancer treatment and heard all about the fetal surgery program, which we have supported for several years. I was astonished to find out that these surgeons can not only do surgery inside the womb but remove the baby, perform the surgery and then put the baby back in the womb. These stories touched our hearts.”

Strength in numbers

Twenty-nine Team Superstars members raised over $32,000 for Children’s Minnesota last year. Team Superstars is the team of athletes who raise money to support vital programs for the kids and families we serve. Last year they participated in local, regional and national races, including Grandma’s (marathon and half marathon) in Duluth and the Medtronic Twin Cities (marathon and 10 mile), Elm Creek (half marathon) and NorthShore Inline Marathons. Thank you to these dedicated athletes for going the extra mile. Our patients and families appreciate you.

Transporting fragile newborns

Urgent, expert care is critical for medically complex newborns, and access to this specialized care is a challenge for patients born in a rural community. Corporate partner CoBank is making a big difference for these fragile newborns and their families by supporting Children’s Minnesota’s neonatal transport program. This program includes a specialized team that transports more than 500 newborns annually to Children’s Minnesota from any distance in the Upper Midwest, by land, fixed-wing plane or helicopter. En route to the regional community hospitals, the transport team provides consultation and continuing care guidance. “Sustaining this remarkable program impacts the lives of the tiniest patients, no matter where they’re born, transporting them to Children’s Minnesota for expert care at one of the largest neonatal intensive care programs in the country,” said Sherry Johnson, director of corporate social responsibility at CoBank.

Hometown hero to cancer patients

Since joining the Minnesota Twins in 2022, the Correa Family Foundation has provided powerful financial assistance for more than 50 families – covering essential costs like rent, mortgage payments, car repairs, transportation, groceries and extended-stay lodging – while their children are receiving cancer care at Children’s Minnesota. Carlos and Daniella Correa’s involvement comes to life in hospital rooms, at Target Field and in communities across Minnesota. They visit patients and families on the cancer and blood disorders unit. At Target Field, the Correas host two families as “Heroes of the Month” at seven Twins home games to honor pediatric cancer patients, providing the child and their family with an unforgettable experience of watching batting practice, meeting players and Twins staff, and enjoying the game from the Champions Club.

Top corporate donors of 2023

United Health Group
API Group
Best Buy
Sit Investment Associates
Securian Financial
Minnesota Wild
Great Clips
Otto Bremer Trust
Google logo
Audi Minneapolis | Audi St. Paul
McGough
Oppidan

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